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Introduction Background Taxon Pages Lucid Key Web Resources Bibliography Acknowledgement

Family Agromyzidae

Worldwide, the family Agromyzidae has about 3,000 species in 31 genera and is represented in Australia by 16 genera and 147 species (Elliott 2006) but Schneider (Hamilton et al. 2006) noted that many Australian species were still undescribed.

The following combination of characters will define the family Agromyzidae (Hennig 1958; Spencer 1987):

  • vibrissae present
  • 1-7 orbital bristles present
  • wing with costal break present at the apex of Sc
  • wing cell cup small; wing veins A1+CuA2 not reaching wing margin
  • male with pregenital sclerites with a fused tergal complex of tergites 6-8, with only two spiracles between tergite 5 and genital segment
  • female anterior part of abdominal segment 7 forming an oviscape.

Detailed descriptions of the morphology of agromyzids are given in Spencer (1972, 1973, 1987) and Dempewolf (2004). We also strongly recommend readers consult the Anatomical Atlas of Flies (requires Flash) (Hamilton et al. 2006) for clear illustrations of the anatomy of a typical acalyptrate fly (such as Agromyzidae). We are following the anatomical nomenclature for Diptera used in the Atlas (Hamilton et al. 2006).

The larvae of all agromyzid species feed in the living plant tissue. About three-quarters of the species are leafminers, while the remainder feed in stems or form galls. Generally the larvae are cylindrical in shape, tapering anteriorly, with projections bearing the anterior and posterior spiracles, the former located on the dorsal surface of prothorax, the latter posteriorly directed at the rear; strongly sclerotised mouthparts, the mandibles with its longitudinal axis at about right angles to the rest of the cephalopharyngeal skeleton and usually bearing two or more pairs of equal sized anteriorly directed teeth.

Dempewolf M (2004). Arthropods of Economic Importance - Agromyzidae of the World (CD-ROM). ETI. University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam.

Elliott MG (2006). Diptera: Cyclorrhapha: (Acalyptrata: Part): Agromyzidae. Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Viewed 22 January 2008. link to Agromyzidae checklist

EPPO (2005). Liriomyza spp. EPPO Bulletin 35: 335-344.

Hamilton JR, Yeates DK, Hastings A, Colless DH, McAlpine DK, Bickel D, Cranston PS, Schneider MA, Daniels G & Marshall S (2006). On The Fly: The Interactive Atlas and Key to Australian Fly Families. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra & Centre for Biological Information Technology, Brisbane.

Hennig W (1958). Die Familien der Diptera Schizophora und ihre phylogenetischen Verwandschaftsbeziehungen. Beiträge zur Entomologie 8: 505-688.

Spencer KA (1972). Diptera, Agromyzidae. Royal Entomological Society of London Handbooks for the Identification of British Insects 10, Part 5(g): 1-136.

Spencer KA (1973). Agromyzidae (Diptera) of Economic Importance. Series Entomologica 9: 418 pp. Dr. W. Junk B.V. The Hague, The Netherlands.

Spencer KA (1977). A revision of the Australian Agromyzidae (Diptera). Special  Publication. Western Australian Museum 8: 1-255.

Spencer KA (1987). Agromyzidae. In Manual of Nearctic Diptera, 2. Monograph no. 28. (eds McAlpine JF, Peterson BV, Shewell GE, Teskey HJ, Vockeroth JR & Wood DM), pp. 869-879. Research Branch Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, Canada.


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